On Flirting

Wednesday is Prince spaghetti night, a common event distinguished by easy dishes, gluttonous portions, and simple thoughts. Nancy invaded my Prince spaghetti night by appearing in my kitchen, holding my 6 month-old daughter in her arms, and delivering me the nightmare kōan: “are babies capable of flirting?” After delivering this incendiary query, she handed back my smiling child and left with my wife to dine and to drink delicious cocktails elsewhere, so that I would have ample time to ponder this riddle in as close to meditative silence as one can get when one lives with a 6 month-old daughter with powerful lungs and a 4 year-old dog who sits in a chair by the window and refuses to allow people to walk by the house without hearing his disapproval.

Merriam-Webster says the following about flirt:

Pronunciation: \ˈflərt\.  Function: verb. Etymology: origin unknown (unknown!? always a bad sign!). Date of origin: 1580.

Flirt is an intransitive verb with the following definitions:

1: to move erratically: to flit.

2a: to behave amorously without serious intent. 2b: to show superficial or casual interest or liking (flirted with the idea) ; also : experiment (a novelist flirting with poetry).

3: to come close to reaching or experiencing something —used with (flirting with disaster) (the temperature flirted with 100°).

You may kiss my hand, peasant.
You may kiss my hand, peasant.

Let’s tackle the easy ones first. Does Abigail “move erratically?” I prefer to describe my daughter’s movements as magical grace, but to the objective observer watching her flip awkwardly from stomach to back and from back to stomach, or to anyone with the luck to see Abby’s “armless” crawl across the bed sheet, it’s probably safe to describe her movements as erratic.

Definition 2a is the one everyone’s waiting for, so let’s hold off on that one for now. It’s better to eliminate the shorter-toothed pack before sneaking up on the alpha wolf.

Does Abigail “show superficial or casual interest or liking (flirted with the idea)”, or does she “experiment (a novelist flirting with poetry)?” Abigail does show casual interest in our plastic neglectacenter playarea (sorry, Lindsey, I know that the term “neglectacenter” is shamelessly stolen from you, but at least you get an inline note! That’s no small consequence when the note appears on a blog of Moorezilla’s stature, weight, and cultural influence!), Abigail does show casual interest in our television (whether it’s on or not), and Abigail does show casual interest in dustbunnies of a particular size and resemblance to actual woodland creatures. Furthermore, Abigail does not merely “experiment” with poetry; she speaks ONLY in poetry. Everything she says rhymes with “ew” or “ooo” or “ahh.” I actually tried to follow her language rules for an entire day once, and let me assure you that it is no small feat. Used in the wrong setting, strict adherence to the baby vernacular and grammar can cost you your job and/or your freedom!

Does Abby ever “come close to reaching or experiencing something,” or does she “flirt… with disaster?” I’m going to have to say, “yes” to this question as well. Our changing table is nosebleed high and precariously narrow, yet Abby, without fail, tries to roll over and off it during each and every diaper change. We have a picture of a cow in Abby’s crib (we believe that animal recognition skills are as, if not more, important than reading skills for children), and Abby repeatedly head butts the cow in the nose. The closest I’ve been to a cow is eating a rare steak, but I imagine that head butting a cow in the nose is at least a cousin of “flirting with disaster.” I will hang a picture of a bull in the crib this week; if she head butts a bull, I think we can safely check this definition completely off.

But what is the intent of the child?
But what is the intent of the child?

So this brings us back to 2a: “to behave amorously without serious intent.” Does my daughter, or more accurately, my nephew, Max, (since he is the real spur for this important investigation) hold the potential to behave amorously without serious intent? Max definitely behaves amorously. I doubt anyone would question his amorousness, so the matter hangs on his seriousness of intent. What does Max actually intend when he behaves amorously and is he really serious about it? Is he always blindly seeking milk, or does he… nay… CAN he on occasion, merely flash a smile or a wink for “intentless” purposes?

I can’t ask him. Even if he would answer me, I find awkward conversations… well.. awkward, and I have to imagine that there’s a chance that he would too. Can I really risk becoming the “weird” uncle while trying to settle someone else’s workplace bet? I don’t think so.

Still… there must be a way to at least ballpark Max’s potential for acting amorously without intent. Remember, I don’t really need to prove that Max is flirting; I only need to prove that Max can flirt. For this, we need to roll out our favorite resident psychiatrist (and coke addict!) Dr. Freud! Let’s see what the crazy cigar smoking cat has to say about baby flirting, shall we?

“From the moment of birth the infant is driven in his amorous actions by the desire for bodily/sexual pleasure, where this is seen by Freud in almost mechanical terms as the desire to release mental energy. Initially, infants gain such release, and derive such pleasure, through the act of sucking or of imitating sucking, and Freud accordingly terms this the ‘oral’ stage of development. Infants will certainly behave in this manner without sexual [that’s serious!] intent (emphasis mine!) on occasion, but the desire for sexual pleasure exists in infants.”

Whoa… that seals it, and that’s a lot more than I wanted to know! If Freud says babies can act amorously with or without serious intent, that’s good enough for me; now that I know, I’m going to start forgetting this as soon as I can. For the record, though, with a score of 3.75 out of 4 on the truthmeter, babies are hereby declared capable of flirting as long as flirting is used as an intransitive verb.

Go get em, Max, you potentially amorous without serious intention son of a gun! Abby, go to your room and stay there until you’re 25.

Abby’s Book Reviews: Katurpiller Glutton Dies!

Mom reads me books over and over and over again. I like hearing the same book read to me, because I often fall asleep and miss parts. Depending upon how full my belly is, it can take me several nights to get through a whole story.

Gluttony Rewarded?
Gluttony Rewarded?

One book Mom reads is about a katurpiller. I’ve never seen a katurpiller, but it sounds like a pig with lots of feet. Basically, as I understand it, the very hungry katurpiller chews holes in some leaves, the  katurpiller chews holes in some fruit, the  katurpiller chews holes in some more fruit, and then the  katurpiller ruins even more fruit instead of finishing any of the fruit he started to eat earlier, so, as you might imagine, he is never satisfied and he should be seen as a cautionary tale concerning American hyperconsumerist, anti-environmental practices.

Near the end of the book, the katurpiller faces the consequences of extreme and embarrassing gluttony after he gorges himself on all kinds of trash, discarded candy, and other detritus until he gets a debilitating stomach ache. Finally, having learned nothing from his shameful behavior, the katurpiller binges one final time and crams so much into his gullet that he can no longer leave his house and he dies a lonely shut-in.

That’s a very sad ending but it’s probably a relief to his katurpiller boss, since his disability payments were no doubt killing his leaf harvesting company and his boss can now outsource the very hungry katurpiller’s job to an Asian butterfly who has excellent math skills, has an incredible work ethic, and who only needs to eat a tiny bit of flower sap once a day.

Mom says that the katurpiller doesn’t die, that it’s the katurpiller that BECOMES the butterfly, but she’s not right. If the katurpiller BECOMES the butterfly, that means the very hungry katurpiller gets rewarded for his selfish behavior, his destructive dietary habits, and his ecological malfeasance.  Whether I’m right or Mom’s right, the hungry katurpiller is certainly not an appropriate role model for babies! You don’t see me starting a new bottle until the bottle I’m drinking is either empty or at least older than an hour.

Why is Shel mad?
Why is Shel so angry?

Another book we read quite often, The Giving Tree, is complex and rather troubling. The author looks scary and he writes about a tree that talks to a boy. Mrs. Tree gives everything, but Mrs. Tree gets nothing back. That’s basically the whole book, but Mrs. Tree’s raw deal is even worse when you look closely at the situation, and we’re going to look more closely at Mrs. Tree’s plight in part two.

This is what’s known as a “teaser,” so I’m not going to talk about Mrs. Tree until my second book review.

Before we go, you should know that this Shel guy not only gives me a lot to think about, but he also gives Hogan Dog nightmares. As you may know, Hogan’s canine ancestors actually worked for a living. Ancient ridgebacks chased down lions that needed chasing, so Hogan was shocked when he learned of Shel’s book about a lion who shoots back. It’s called Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back.

Cats shooting back? Unacceptable!
Cats shooting back? Unacceptable!

Lions that shoot back at ridgebacks? That’s crazy talk! That’s unacceptable! Now I know why Mom hates cats so much; cats are freaking dangerous and unpredictable any way, and now we come to learn that some of them are armed! Unbelievable!

I want Mom to get the book and to read it to me several times, so I can figure out where this ridgeback shooting lion is. If Lafcadio is somewhere far away, like South Africa or Arlington, Hogan will be able to relax more… although too much more Hogan relaxation might mean that the vetteranarrian can’t find Hogan’s pulse any more, so we might tell Hogan that the shooting back lion is kind of close, but not too close, so Hogan will wake up once in a while to make sure there’s no shooting back lion in the yard. Hogan hasn’t been this upset since he learned about the spraying back skunk!

That’s all for this book review. We’ll analyze what went wrong with Mrs. Tree next time, so if you haven’t had The Giving Tree read to you yet, now’s your chance to get caught up. It’s a complicated book, so make sure someone reads it to you several nights in a row.

Let's give the tree another look!
Let's give the tree another look!

On the sorry state of solid food so far…

Non! Pas per moi, ma Mere!
Non! Pas per moi, Mere!

A dark day it was when mother’s milk gave way to cursed Enfamil, but the sweetness of the early days softened somewhat the blow of the ill-powdered bottle. I had heard promising stories of the “cereal phase,” so I gamely put up with the foul formula in anticipation of fare more suitable to my discriminating palate.

Imagine my disappointment when “cereal” turned out to be a not too distant cousin of Quikrete, a rice-based paste more suitable as mortar between bricks than as nourishment for a presumably cherished addition to the family. This foul substance offers no snap, no crackle, and certainly no pop; it simply oozes lazily from sandpaper dry to muddy mush, a ladled slop instantly recognizable to your average unfortunate Western tourist who has spent any number of meals in a Turkish penitentiary awaiting trial.

C'est la sog!
C'est la sog! Pppth!

Compounding the problem and intensifying the outrage, I began to notice other denizens of my abode enjoying complex grains of admirable weight, delectable crunch, and robust flavor. Even the primitive, somnolent fur beast consumes with relish a bowl of audibly crunchy, bison flavored grains each morning and afternoon. At least he recognizes my isolation from the pack’s foodstuffs and occasionally licks my face and belches in my direction after finishing off his allotted portion. He is a kind-hearted if admittedly disgusting beast.

One might surmise that I would grow accustomed to shoddy treatment at the hands of the giants, that I would learn to accept my bland diet as a thinly-veiled nutritional penalty for depriving them of sleep, of silence, of dinners out, and of golf. I have not! I will not! This baby rages coolly beneath a smiling, calculating exterior!

Ahhh! The Good Capn is a good choice!
The Good Capn awaits!

By far the worst part is the taunting method with which they carry out their torture. I could almost stomach the outrageous treatment when under the foolish impression that mushed rice was the only cereal conveniently available, but during a recent arm ride through the house I was greeted by the Good Capn smiling out of the partially opened pantry!

It’s not that the tall ones are too lazy or absent-minded to purchase appropriate foodstuffs; they have it and they’re keeping it from me! Their offense is not mere incompetence; it is sadistic treachery on a level unfathomable for first time parents!

I take some consolation in the fact that the Good Capn perches on but the second pantry shelf, a shelf that I will soon be able to reach  as these chubby infant legs learn to support standing upright and bipedal motion. Each day I kick my father harder when he holds me and each day I wave my legs wildly when my mother attempts to dress me, an aggressive training regimen that should pay dividends in the months to come…

Damn! Damn! Damn! I must leave off this ledger for now. It appears that the tall ones have just bought me mushed apples (no doubt for their amusement), and this new outrage will require its own separate entry.

Abby Simpsonized!

Abby Simpsonized!
Abby Simpsonized!

With her rapier-sharp wit, babylicious looks, and undeniable fashion sense, it was only a matter of time before Abigail was tapped out to appear on an upcoming episode of the long-running Simpsons.

Don’t miss her this coming Sunday when she guest stars with that stupid punk baby (sorry! We forgot his name!) that got the e-Trade high-chair account! We can’t give much more of the script away, but we can say that she gets to call him a “spitupapotamus” to his face!

Stop listening to Ragnar Olegård!

The pro-baby bjorn lobby is strong. It’s tough to go too far on a sunny day without seeing some yuppie couple slinging around a little person in one of those fake marsupial pouches. The problem is, however, that if you’re less than 6 months old, your view from the baby bjorn is as bad as any sled husky rearward of the lead dog. All you see is a non-stop commercial for Adirondack, North Face, or some other over-priced fleece product.

Day at the beach? You tell me; I didn't see crap!
Day at the beach? You tell me. I didn't see crap!

So Ragnar writes:

“Ever since the 1970s, study after study has shown the importance of early eye-to-eye contact, of close bodily contact between parents and their new-born babies or infants. Blah blah blah… The baby bjorn facilitates this like no other product.” – Ragnar Olegård

Maybe so! Maybe the bjorn is the best thing since disposable diapers, but this crazy bjorn-pimping Swede is costing us little people a wealth of visual stimulation.

Over there I’m with my Mom, my Dad, and my 2nd cousin and they’re enjoying the view from Lighthouse Beach. What am I staring at? You guessed it: a Champion jacket logo. Thanks for the ride, Captain Kangaroo, but I might as well have stayed at home sucking on a bottle, since craning my neck just brings the zipper into view.

Manny being Manny? I'll take your word for it...
Manny being Manny? I'll take your word for it...

And I’m not really one to complain for no reason! It’s not like I’m picking a fight here, but look at some of the other things I’ve missed due to this stupid baby-carrying contraption!

Here I am in Fenway park the last time Manny Ramirez showed up to play left field. Great seats, jackass! Mortgage my college fund to get them? I don’t suppose the breastaurant is open?

It’s bad enough to miss the entire game, but how would you also like to be crushed into a hodge podge of peanut shells, mustard, cheap beer, and whatever else this slob pours down the front of him during a four and a half hour game?

Here we are on a family trip to Europe. Same freaking deal! Paris in Spring is really no different than Peabody in Spring if you tour the continent in an f’n bjorn.

Merde! Merde! Merde! Merde! Allez-vous en!
Merde! Merde! Merde! Merde! Allez-vous en!

So you might want to think about using the stroller once in a while. Sure, it’s a little less convenient and you have to hose down the tires when one of you absent-mindedly runs it through the fresh dog poo on the sidewalk. But isn’t that better than every exciting event and cultural scene appearing behind your baby’s back?

Ooooh... pahoehoe! Enjoy that ham and pineapple pizza.
Ooooh... pahoehoe! Enjoy that ham and pineapple pizza.

And it’s Abigail by the fur of a hood!

Abigail edges Max at the finish in a thrilling Baby Nascar race!
Abigail edges Max at the finish in a thrilling Baby Nascar race!

If you tuned in early for the Baby Crawl by the Bay races, you witnessed Abigail’s complete dominance of the 5 meter freestyle belly, a race she won by two lengths.

Max proved himself a gamer, however, with a great showing in the 5 meter back crawl — pictured above and no doubt the cover of SI and Baby Racing magazines for March. In this photo finish, you can see that only a late burst by Abigail pushed her across the line for the win.  Is the baby racing field finally leveling?

Gracious in defeat, when interviewed after the race, Max commented, “listen… Abby is the baby we’re all trying to beat out here and it’s an honor just to be here today. She’s been racing since before I was even born, and she made this sport what it is today.”

When asked about the apparent size advantage Max has over her, despite his younger age, Abigail refused to point fingers but added, “I’ve always said that our sport needs to test for performance-enhancing drugs. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, but you’ve got to wonder about the size of that dude’s hands. I don’t know. It just seems odd. Look at my hand and then look at his. I’m just saying. I like Max. He’s a good kid and he’s gonna help push this sport to a new audience one day. He might be clean… but in any case someone should really check his diaper.”

Symbiosis

Your face is now clean, my friend!
Your face is now clean, my friend!

Ok, my little friend, here’s how this works. You sit there and scratch my back, and while you’re scratching my back, I’ll clean the food off your face. This is symbiosis! This is teamwork!

Think of the opportunities when you are trapped in your high chair faced with the task of eating far too many string beans or peas or sweet potatoes, while I’m on the floor barely sated by the pittance these people give me in the way of nutrition. All you’ll have to do is push your food over the edge and my good friend gravity will take it from there.

It’ll be sweet! You’ll love it! We’ll practice this more later when you’re off formula. Formula gives me gas.

Abby Answers Fanmail #1

Holler at me! I'll holler back!
Holler at me! I might holler back!

“So, baby girl, you lookin’ chunky! What you weigh now?” — Yolanda LaTeesha

No you did not just ask me about my weight! This is the last time I’m going to answer this question, but for the record I’m 7pounds 10 ounces… 7 pounds 14 ounces when the tall ones are a little slow with my diaper change.

“Will your training combines ever be open to the public? We don’t have enough data to properly handicap your upcoming 5 meter crawl against Max ‘hand man’ Teter.” — Jim Kruger of Sports Book Unlimited

1. My practices will never be open again after the leaked photos that turned up in Little People Big Carpet.

2. All you need to know to handicap this exhibition is that Max “the snail trail” Teter has the same chance Michigan’s football team has of beating anyone better than Cape Cod Community College. I am Abigail “the antelope” Moore! I’m the Big Brown of baby racing; Max is the Shrek Donkey of baby racing. I don’t care if this race has been moved inside to a neutral carpeted site in Marblehead; I’m just as fast on an artificial track. If the “Belly Drag by the Bay” is 5 meters long, I will smoke that chump by at LEAST 4 meters. You can print that, sucker!

“You hit the bottle harder than Jack Kerouac did between novels. Have you ever considered that finding every one of your meals in a bottle might be the harbinger of a future drinking problem? I think you might need help, so call me when you want to get clean.” — Marc F. Kern, M.D.

Nice try, you quack! Next you’ll be telling me that too much binky use leads to heavier things… like thumbs. I’ll give up the bottle, Marc, when you give up your addictions to skinny models, infomercials, Botox, and Rogaine. And stop sending me chain emails!

“Hey, Abby, how’s the potty training coming?” — Dr. Spock Jr.

Bad news, Doctor. Magic Eight Ball diaper says, “crappy forecast.”

Thanks for all the mail, peeps! I’ll answer more as it comes in!

Crib Training

Face toward good or evil... the choice is hers!
Face a night of good or evil... the choice is hers!

As the black puffy pouches under Emily’s eyes will tell you, Abigail does not regularly sleep (or allow her parents to sleep!) very well between the hours of 11:00PM and 5:00AM.

We’ve tried a few strategies to encourage Abby to sleep at night. During the daylight hours, we make her do infant calisthenics, we regularly poke her with a sharp stick to keep her awake, and we coat her clothing with peanut butter to ensure that Hogan will constantly lick her if she tries to sneak some Z’s while we are distracted.

Unfortunately, none of these tactics has paid dividends, so we have had to take our game up a notch. We have begun “crib training” Abigail. Crib training is all about encouraging “wise choices” through classical conditioning.

As you can see from the picture of Abigail’s crib, we have a subdued, happy mobile on the “GOOD” side and a bizarre, angry mobile on the “EVIL” side. We begin the night by placing Abby with her head towards the sweet dream-enhancing critters of the “GOOD” mobile, but if Abigail refuses to sleep quietly, we turn her around to face the “EVIL” mobile. Remember… we are parents, not friends!

The “GOOD” mobile offers a pleasant parade of friendly critters who frolic counterclockwise to a lullaby softly plinked out by a wind-up powered music box. It’s a little slice of baby heaven!

good2
Good offers a yellow and purple elephant and a smiling giraffe!

The “EVIL” mobile features a large blue poison frog, a smiling (but stinging!) hornet, a miniature “monkey shines” haunted chimpanzee, a dangling poison sumac leaf, and a mechanized set of pincer leaves that close savagely like a half-starved Venus fly-trap at irregular, shocking intervals. This violent action is set to an instrumental soundtrack titled “Biting Insects of the Uncomfortably Humid Amazon.”

Did we mention this spins and closes like a venus fly trap?
Did we mention this spins and closes like a Venus fly-trap?

Eventually we may be able to remove the training aids, but when and if this happens is entirely up to Abby. We only hope we won’t be forced to use the evil clown mobile. The evil clown mobile offers excellent short-term silence, but its long-term psychological effects remain controversial.

Photo shoot fight…

It's regal, it's poised, it's Hogan!
It's regal, it's poised, it's Hogan!

Until very recently we’ve only had one model for all of our photo shoots, and his name is Hogan. Now that Abigail has arrived, Hogan has been grudgingly gracious when it comes to sharing camera time, but we were bound to have an incident eventually.

On Saturday, we took Hogan down to the little league field for a series of nude photos that we planned to submit to RRCUS for next year’s “Wild Ridges Rising!” Ridgeback calendar. He wasn’t thrilled about wearing only a thin nylon collar in the frigid temperatures and blowing snow of glacial Massachusetts, but after a bit of coaxing and leash tugging, he regained his professionalism and posed for the picture seen here.

He was quite pleased with the shot and figured the calendar shoot was a wrap, but since we were already on location we decided to take a few more shots.

Cut! Why are you two here!?
Cut! Cut! Cut! Why are you two here!?

Things turned suddenly ugly when Emily and Abigail casually strolled into a shot where Hogan was demonstrating his “action sit” between second and third base. You can see here that he is less than amused that Emily and Abigail have barged into a photo he felt had a legit chance to become the backdrop of either February or March of the RRCUS calendar.

Whether it was the early stages of frostbite on his tail or the final straw of once again sharing the stage with rival talent, Hogan lost his mind at this point, barked some unrepeatable comments at the cameraman, and then did what one should really refrain from doing to the person who feeds, houses, and walks you. It was not a proud moment for anyone involved.

We will not be submitting the resulting violent picture to RRCUS, although Hogan did argue later that it shows off his better side. We’re also now in the market for a good used camera!

Biting the hand that feeds!
Biting the hand that feeds!

Abigail visits the NICU… shows off weight gain!

Going back to NICU... NICU... NICU!
Going back to NICU... NICU... NICU!

As many of you probably know by now, Abigail escaped the womb early in order to take full advantage of the excellent NICU spa treatment offered at Salem Hospital. Over the course of her nine day resort vacation, Abigail lounged under blue ray tanning lights, enjoyed regular sea salt sponge baths, and wiled her minutes and hours in fresh-from-the-oven warm wraps. She enjoyed her stay immensely and she has constantly whined to return; here is her first visit.

Unlike the spartan lifestyle faced by your average rehab-bound celebrity, NICU staff kept bottles ever on hand for whenever Abigail felt like sucking back a warm one, and every finished bottle was succeeded by several rousing cheers and a Swedish back massage continued until leche-addled Abigail attained both burp and unconsciousness.

As you can see here, Lisa can barely hold the now massive Abigail. Abigail’s milk-based Fatkins diet has led to exponential weight gain, so Lisa has wisely adopted the two-handed short yardage football carry to accommodate Abigail’s new found bulk.

Baby Bauble Deconstruction #1

Not the floor; not much better
Not the floor, but not much better.

Many new parents try to keep the floor and their new infant separated by towels, blankets, or reasonably clean newspaper. Having infants on the floor is, ironically enough, comforting to new parents, since one of the recurring nightmares new parents face is the vision of their child falling from any of the myriad of high altitude perches at which children spend their early days (cribs, hopelessly under-reinforced bouncy chairs, countertops, local bars, black jack tables, human arms, etc.).  Cultivating activities that originate and take place on the floor eliminates the worry that a child will arrive at the ground from height with speed, but as anyone who has had an untimely visit from the Department of Social Services will attest, there should really be an expanse of colorful, educational fabric between your child and whatever toxins and unholy essences call your floor home.

We use the cushy, pastel zoological mat pictured here, and at first glance it may appear to be entirely adequate for infant floor exercises. Once you’ve stared at it for a few unbroken hours (or at least the portions of the mat not covered by your motionless child when she refuses to do even one more head up or roll over), you may notice that the artist’s grasp of the animal kingdom is at best vaguely creationist, and at worst frankly dangerous to young, developing minds. It’s clear that whoever manufactured and distributed this “play and learn” mat never spent any time in the African bush and probably never consulted so much as a zoo, a library, or an animal cracker box.

A short list of animal kingdom errors should convince you to choose your mats with better discretion than our early effort documented here.

Bath Time!

People are always asking me, “Abigail, how do you keep yourself looking so suave and dapper all the time even though you spend the bulk of your day pooping and peeing in your diaper, spitting up all over your jammies, and rolling around on the floor?”

It’s really pretty simple as you can see from the shots above! If you have the means, I highly recommend that you get yourself one or two of these giant servants. I couldn’t imagine my day without staff… I just couldn’t imagine!

Tummy Time action photos!

We have a Canon PowerShot SD750 Digital ELPH and the experience of taking over 35 million pictures of our Rhodesian Ridgeback in various stages of sleep, so though we would never go so far as to suggest that you “not try this at home,” we’re pretty sure that your efforts wouldn’t produce the same bar-raising photographi(que) awesomeness… at least not at first. In the following sequence of shots, you can clearly make out the furious side to side and threatening down to up movements exhibited by the rather-be-sleeping wee one during parent-mandated exercise session #2.

As hummingbirds hover at a flower or feeder, their wings can beat up to 80 times per second, which produces their signature hum, and you must take a similar approach with you when filming Abigail. To the naked eye—and often to your naked  or poorly dressed camera—the wings (or the arms! or the legs!)  are just a nauseating blur. Often the first question I’m asked by the ubiquitous cult of the amateur is what shutter speed I use to tame this ludicrously fast action sequence. Ha! Shutter speed schmutter speed… everyone in the know understands it’s all about the high speed flash! Come on now!

Whether you’re capturing the in flight humming bird wing or the inclined domestic Abisaurus doing head ups during tummy time, it takes immense photographic skill and timing to isolate the beasts’ fast-twitch muscle movements enough for the human eye to perceive, let alone to enjoy. There are no shortcuts! But never fret, kind reader, because here at Moorezilla.com we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you!

Ridiculously small child hanging with ridiculously large dog

Tiny baby tires out massive dog.
Tiny baby tires out massive dog.

We’re all about balance, bed time, and “fang” shui these days. Here we see ridiculously large Hogan hanging with ridiculously small Abigail chaperoned by ridiculously small medium-sized Emily.

Perhaps hidden to the casual viewer of this picture is the great chain of exercise. Hogan does absolutely nothing, but as you can see, he is utterly exhausted from watching Emily watching Abigail do little baby pushups during doctor-ordered tummy time.

Welcome to midnight!

Baby Abigail pwn you!
Baby Abigail pwn you! All your base are belong to us!

Sleep? Sleep, friends, is for when it’s light outside! Those wide open, unblinking shark eyes assure you that when it’s dark outside it’s wakey wakey scream and shaky!

What does approximately five and a half pounds of milk-drunk hyperactive Mooreling look like at the first minute of the spanking new day? Umm… she looks like this —–>

Total Abby minutes awake from 9:00am to 11:59pm = 6. Total Abby minutes awake from 12:01am to 8:59am = 527.2! And it’s another new Abigail night time record! Only brief, predictable dairy comas cut into the night time seconds available for parental torture.

I sing a song of dirty diapers

Sleeping off diaper
Dirtius Diaperus Devourerus Domesticus

I cornered, captured, and consumed my first delicious diaper today. Emily, foolish wench, was so jealous that she hysterically screamed obscenities and rudely attempted to snatch away my fairly found diaper. Her regrettable actions forced me to eat it too fast and I have made a mental note to bite her later.

Although my contraband diaper was quite delicious, I now find myself unable to move from my leather lounger for any length of time without feeling sharp pains in my stomach; I think they may be hunger pangs… hunger pangs for more diapers. No matter… I will sleep this diaper off, dream of dirty diapers not yet made, and seek out new dirty diapers tomorrow.

And I will bite foolish Emily when I feel better, as I think I may have mentioned, for trying to take my dirty diaper away. Or… or… maybe I will just lick her. I am undecided. I will sleep and ponder this quandary.

That is all for now.

Dirtius Diaperus Eaterus
Dirtius Diaperus Eaterus on leather lounger

Childcare is ridiculously easy…

Emily and Abigail on Couch As Emily and Abigail deftly demonstrate in this photo, the bulk of childcare consists of precious little more than lounging around on the couch and half-conscious cuddling. Our Abigail is pretty much self-sufficient at this point, requiring from her adult handlers only an occasional warm meal, dry wardrobe change, or gentle poke with a sharp stick to test developing reflexes.

Actually, none of that is true. Abigail is instead a miniature, deep-lunged vampire, sleeping quietly all day only to wake screaming at darkening dusk to suck in fifteen minute increments the life out of her parents. You may see a child sleeping comfortably, a suburban Rockwell moment, but this is the nap that powers the monster’s night-long assault on everyone’s sleep in the household save the ridgeback. Hogan, charmed canine, still rises but in the late morning and for no one not named breakfast.

Abigail now larger than typical garden gnome!

Neither gnome nor child injured during experiment!

Despite what some have suggested, Abigail Jane now towers over Gnarles Gnuberry, our fearless if admittedly rusting garden gnome, and we expect her to double his size in a few short months. Hopefully this photographic evidence will dispel such miniature rumors once and for all.